WHAT IS PEDODONTICS?
Pedodontics is the practice of pediatric dentistry. It is one of the 8 principal branches of dentistry that deals with oral and dental care of children between their birth and the end of puberty.
THE MAIN FIELDS OF ACTIVITY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY
- Treatment of caries in milk teeth and permanent teeth in children
- Prevention of caries in children (fluoride, fissure application)
- Follow-up and treatment of dental crowds, eruption disorders
- Prevention of adverse effects of early loss of milk teeth, using a variety of devices (placeholders)
- Extraction of swaying and highly damaged milk teeth
- Root canal treatment and amputation.
WHEN DO MILK TEETH ERUPT (GROW)?
The first milk tooth erupts (grows) between 6 months and 12 months. The first milk teeth to appear are lower anterior incisors. The eruption (growth) times of milk teeth may vary. When the child is 36 months old, all milk teeth are expected to have grown. Any abnormality requires examination by a dentist.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF MILK TEETH?
There are 20 milk teeth, of which 10 is at the top and 10 at the bottom. They are varied like permanent teeth.
There are milk incisors, milk canines and milk molars.
Is it normal for baby’s gums to be red?
By the time milk teeth are growing (erupting), gums may become red and itchy, especially between 6-18 months. The infant may experience fever and pain. This is perfectly normal, and dentists may recommend the use of gels and pain relievers for a more smooth transition.
When the first milk tooth erupts (comes out), it should be checked by the dentist. Regular visits to the dentist once a year can prevent future problems.
WHICH MILK TEETH FALL OFF?
All milk teeth leave their place to permanent teeth. Permanent teeth dissolve the roots of milk teeth, causing them to shake and fall off. Premature loss of milk teeth for various reasons causes some problems. Therefore, it is among the priorities of dentists to keep the milk teeth in the mouth until the right time.
DO DECAYED MILK TEETH NEED EXTRACTION?
Not all decayed milk teeth are extracted. Extraction is performed on milk teeth that sway and for which restoration, i.e. filling is not possible. Milk teeth preserve the position for the upcoming permanent teeth. Therefore, milk teeth are extracted based on the condition of the tooth underneath or filling root canal treatment, amputation, etc. is performed.
HOW ARE DECAYED MILK TEETH TREATED?
Filling milk teeth: If the decay has not reached the nerve and is not seated too deep, filling is made and the tooth is kept in the mouth.
Root canal treatment on milk teeth: Root canal treatment is performed if decay is seated deeply and affects the nerve, and the child has pain.
Half-canal treatment for milk teeth: If the decay is seated deep but does not affect the nerve, the half-canal treatment, also known as amputation, is performed and is completely painless for the child.
WHEN ARE MILK TOOTH EXTRACTED?
Milk teeth should be extracted:
- If they are swaying
- If decay is too severe to implement filling procedures
- If there is major abscess at the root of the milk teeth
- If the milk tooth is still in place despite fall off is due, and if it prevents the permanent tooth eruption (growth).
WHAT IS PLACE HOLDING? WHEN ARE PLACEHOLDERS IMPLEMENTED?
It is the process of placing certain devices to the extraction area to replace milk teeth in order to prevent future misalignment and eruption disorders due to early loss of milk teeth. Various placeholders are used based on the extracted milk tooth and the area. When the permanent tooth underneath begins to grow, placeholders must be removed under the control of the dentist.
HOW IS FLUORIDE IMPLEMENTED IN CHILDREN AND IS IT HARMFUL?
Fluoride application in children can be done in various ways. It is applied in the form of varnish to children under 5 years of age, and usually by squeezing a gel into a spoon arranged according to the patient’s mouth in children older than 5 years of age. Children with high caries rate are recommended to receive it every 6 months. Unless the daily dose is exceeded, fluoride does not cause any harm to health.
FISSURE (TOOTH VACCINE) APPLICATION IN CHILDREN
Milk and permanent teeth of some children are highly prone to decay. There are tooth surfaces which are prone to accumulate food leftovers. Dentists apply a filling material that we call fissure sealant to prevent such teeth from decaying in the future.